nate ruPartner/CEO, Sweetgreen

EXPERTISE: restaurants, retailing, food service, event management, startups


OFFICE HOURS: By appointment


Nathaniel Ru graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in 2007 with a BS in Finance. In 2007 he and two other Georgetown graduates started sweetgreen, a fast casual seasonal kitchen with a focus on sustainability and local sourcing. Their first location was in the heart of Georgetown itself. sweetgreen has now grown to 27 locations in six states with plans to expand to the west coast in early 2015. The idea was born from their belief that the community needed a delicious, healthy and eco-friendly dining option. They passionately believe in “food that fits” – your values, your budget, your tastes, your imagination and your community.

In 2010, Nathaniel and his partners launched sweetlife, now the region’s largest music and food festival. The event attracts 20,000 attendees and features both cutting edge and high profile musical artists – as well as food from top chefs, food trucks, local purveyors and farmers. Like their restaurants, sweetlife embraces good living, health and well-being, community, and sustainability. The event leaves a gentle, carbon-neutral footprint – a party with a purpose.

The sweetgreen brand has received numerous press accolades, including the Washington Post, USA Today, Food & Wine, Forbes, Bloomberg, Washingtonion, CBS and CNBC, and others. Nathaniel and his partners have been in Forbes’ “30 under 30: Food and Wine” and Wine Magazine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under.”